Enlightened by the words and action of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., We Shall Overcome featuring Damien Sneed and his full ensemble is an ode to both rich musical history and generations of civil rights activists — coming to Diana Wortham Theatre on Tuesday, Jan. 22 at 8 p.m.

Showcasing repertoire from across African American music traditions — songs and genres that electrified generations of civil rights activists and defenders — with interwoven spoken word from Dr. King’s recorded speeches, We Shall Overcome is a powerful and inspiring performance led by pianist, singer, composer and bandleader Damien Sneed.

This production ties together a lineage of music and culture that includes traditional gospel, modern gospel, classical, jazz, Broadway and spirituals. From Aretha Franklin to Wynton Marsalis, Duke Ellington to Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone to Donny Hathaway, traditional spirituals and music from The Wiz, Sneed’s unique understanding of each genre allows him to fluidly cover much musical ground in a single performance.

Sneed, producer and musical director of this production, has carefully curated a group of performers to cover an incredible breadth of genres in one inspiring tribute. The show features five vocal soloists and a band hand-picked by Sneed. A man of many titles and talents, he has conducted and collaborated on major original works for Wynton Marsalis, regularly accompanies Jessye Norman, collaborated with Lawrence Brownlee and has toured extensively with Diana Ross, Aretha Franklin and the Clark Sisters.

Weaving together these elements of history, heroism and pop-culture in a musically stunning and inspiring performance, We Shall Overcome is a true living lineage of music and culture.

The Diana Wortham Theatre is located at 18 Biltmore Ave. 

To obtain more information on the Mainstage Series or to purchase tickets for the January 22 performance of We Shall Overcome (Regular $40; Student $35; Child $20; Student Rush, day-of-the-show with valid I.D. $10), call the theatre’s box office at (828-257-4530 or visit www.dwtheatre.com.

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